Along with a totally revamped Symmetra, yesterday's big Overwatch update (opens in new tab) introduced two new social features: Endorsements and a Looking for Group (LFG) system. Endorsements let players rate other players for being a good teammate, and the LFG system makes it easier for players to build well-balanced teams while playing their favorite role. Players are still getting used to these new features, but they're also already in love with them.
The Overwatch subreddit and other community hubs are overflowing with stories of LFG success. This post from Reddit user Inspyrashun (opens in new tab), recounting a tense and enjoyable night spent with an LFG team, has become a marquee of refreshingly positive stories. "Its allowed me to finally meet people who want to group up and win games, instead of having 4 DPS and a 'fuck it' mentality," oof97 (opens in new tab) said in a comment. "What got me was the fact that every match was really intense and everyone was really nice to each other, everyone felt 'part of' a team," adds justicecantakeanap (opens in new tab). "Even the losses I had last night were enjoyable, simply because they were proper well contested games where the better team won," said gavgav77 (opens in new tab).
Because people aren't being forced into imbalanced teams with uncooperative teammates, victories are more rewarding and losses feel fairer. Likewise, people are having more fun because toxicity seems to have gone down thanks to the Endorsement system. Many players believe this is partly due to people pretending to be nice to rack up Endorsements, but as CesarTheSalad (opens in new tab) said in a comment, "I'd rather have a hundred of those players in my team than a single toxic one."
One of the most encouraging anecdotes comes from SassafrasLass (opens in new tab), who says she's heard more women in voice chat since the update. "I am amazed at how well the endorsement system worked to facilitate an environment where half of our players feel safe enough to solo queue and make shot calls," she said.
Blizzard has struggled (and in some ways outright failed (opens in new tab)) to combat toxicity in Overwatch's community. Countless women, from YouTubers and Twitch streamers (opens in new tab) to everyday Overwatch players (opens in new tab), have come forward about the misogynistic remarks hurled their way the moment they speak up in voice chat, so it's nice to see even a hint of improvement there. Here's hoping these systems, paired with an evolving report system, hold up in the long-term.
What about you, readers? Has your Overwatch experience improved since the update?